Archives for “what is career coaching”

Why I do what I do (part III of my series on work attitudes)

Photo courtesy of koka_sexton on Flickr creative commons: http://bit.ly/1Apu1uz.

Photo courtesy of koka_sexton on Flickr creative commons: http://bit.ly/1Apu1uz.

My mom was underpaid and underappreciated. She looked at numbers all day so when she got home she didn’t want to play cards with me. One my favorite things to do was play (win) Rummy.

My dad afforded a nice lifestyle pre-divorce. He napped when he came home when I wanted to play catch. I remember being really little and begging to play “horsey.” Then, the divorce.  It was a long emotional and financial battle that decimated our standard of living for a while. My mom recovered more easily because she continued working and re-married while my dad was forced into early retirement, working odd jobs and surviving on a lesser pension and eventually social security. Now, his health insurance was eliminated as a retirement benefit just when he needs it most.

My brothers enjoyed a higher standard of living for much longer. For the most part, their financial blueprint (J. Harv Eker’s term) was set during better years. All I learned about work and money was that it was tiring and no matter how hard you worked, eventually, there would be no pay off or not the kind that I wanted. I wanted a lot. I dreamt of a BIG life. When I played monopoly with my friend, Julie, we would daydream about huge houses with rooms for all the animals we would rescue and adopt. When I dreamt of a big life, there were always big things I could do for other people at the forefront and at the same time provide exotic opportunities for my kids.

So, going into college, my idea of being a “successful” adult was that you get a degree so you’re not stuck for 20 years in a dead-end clerk job. But I didn’t want to be the boss, either, because then I’d hold down the little guy. Choosing radio as my career was an anti-corporate statement to all of my seemingly misguided advisors. Not until I started attempting to make a buck while I worked in radio that I got to see that not all companies operate like, well, almost every company depicted in every sit com and movie up until…. uh… Grandma’s Boy (circa 2006.)

Then, I realized as a recruiter I could place people in the “good jobs.” At least, that is what I thought I would like best about recruiting, and it was…when it happened. However, speaking with 500 candidates every week and placing maybe one of them is hardly a record of success given my mission.  Plus, for a good percentage of the jobs, my position on the vendor chain didn’t allow me to fully assess the suitability of a job for a candidate. When I was able to get the goods on a job straight from the hiring manager, their budget often prevented me from presenting the best candidate.  So, it was frustrating, but enlightening. Meanwhile, it was becoming clearer what career was going to give me the best chance at really making a difference to professionals seeking career stardom, or even simply career satisfaction – career coaching. Right alongside that was résumé writing. IT résumés appeared to be enigmas for other professional résumé writers. I could tell when a candidate had paid someone to write it, but, unfortunately, oftentimes had to tell them to add or change something.

Eight years after I changed careers yet again, I cannot only say that I found my passion and my purpose, but I have embodied and developed a gift. Now that career fulfillment is something I can speak about first-hand, I want it for EVERYONE!  Thankfully, I have been able to dramatically impact people’s quality of life in a positive way, not that I deserve all of the credit – all of these people were already successful in many ways.  In fact, there is not ONE client that I would say was not BRILLIANT.

Looking forward, you will see an expanded offering of solutions that will fit virtually any budget, and they will generate superior results to anything else currently offered.  I vow to continue my own personal and professional development, and to expand my team in numbers and capacity to help you UNVEIL YOUR BRILLIANCE.

May 2015 bring you better opportunities, better income, and better quality of life!

Heavy D & The Boyz – Now That We Found Love ft. Aaron Hall

Music video by Heavy D & The Boyz performing Now That We Found Love. (C) 1991 Geffen Records

3 Steps To Ensure Your Next Position Is Better Than Your Last One

 

Petrified by Brett Jordan

Petrified by Brett Jordan

 

 

Everyone seems to be running away from something rather than toward something. For example, many clients do not come to me or approach me until they see that they are running out of money, and so they decide to run away from a lack of money. Or others still find themselves in employment situations that are undesirable, and so they come to me wanting escape from their current situation. Yes, I do this.

I do help people relieve financial distress by helping them gain employment that brings in an income that enables them to afford their lifestyles, or better lifestyles. Yes, I also help professionals improve their career trajectory and help them find jobs that fulfill them and pay them what they’re worth.

However, most of them have not yet decided what they are running toward.

 

 

Where do people usually turn to see what opportunities are out there for them? Job boards. Here’s the flaw in that: job boards are not job prophecies. You will not be able to determine your career destiny by scouring job boards. This is what will happen: you will find many, many jobs with a few words that excite you, and you will use those few words as a reason to spend your time evaluating that opportunity and filling out an online application. You will cross your fingers, consider your effort done, and hope and pray that somebody will respond and invite you for interview.

 

Let me ask you, does doing this motivate you to get up every day and repeat the process? Do you really feel any closer to a better employment situation? Are you getting any results from this process? Even if this process does produce interviews, do you really feel like they are the right jobs?

 

It is spectacular to know that what you have currently is not what you want. However, if you are really going to ensure that your situation improves, you have to define what that improvement looks like. And, actually, the more full detail you give to that picture of improvement, the closer you will get to it.

Here are three exercises, consider them career development homework, that will propel you in a favorable direction once you decide that you want your professional future to be better than your past or present.

 

  1. Develop your criteria

Create a table, either in word or an Excel, with four columns at the top and numbers on the left (Excel has these already.) In the first column (A) put all the things that you disliked about your most recent position and any other positions in the past. In the second column (B) type the opposite of that. In the third column make a list of things that you heard other people complain about their jobs that you would not want to experience for yourself. In the fourth column include things that you’ve heard other people enjoy about their job that you have not yet experienced. Use all of the columns to develop questions that you can ask your network and your interviewees (once you land them) to find out if a company is a worthwhile target. In a new spreadsheet, combine columns B and D into one complete list that you will call your criteria. Sort them into order of importance, and make the “make or break” criteria distinct by using colors or bolding. Now, for each company you identify, either through job boards, recruiters, business journals, news articles, leads from your network, etc., add a column and cross reference what you find out about them, through any of the same sources listed above, with your criteria list. Use a simple system, like “X” for any criteria a company doesn’t match and an “O” for each one it does. If the Xs start to add up to more than 20% of the criteria, move on. If not, keep digging and make sure that your network inquiries include requests for introductions with value statements on what you can offer them. (E-mail info@epiccareering.com if you would like to see a sample.)

 

  1. Create a reverse career roadmap.

Assuming all things are possible, how would you ultimately like to end your career? Every answer is okay. Don’t limit yourself, but don’t assume that you have to yearn for the highest possible position either. Use your imagination. If you do tend to eliminate possibilities, carefully evaluate if your reasons are actually valid or if they are manifestations of a self-limiting untruth, an assumption, or misinformation. A really easy way to tell if that is the case is to ask, “Has anyone else ever achieved this?” If the answer is yes, you have proof that it is possible, but even if you don’t know of anybody else who has achieved it, I will quote something I say to my daughters daily – “There is no can’t; only I don’t know how yet.”

Asking questions of your network is a lot easier than asking favors of your network. People love to help and offer their expertise. The caveat: if people tell you something is impossible, thank them and ignore them. They may or may not have their own illusions of reality. Stay focused on the how, not the if.

 

  1. Create a reverse financial roadmap.

Unless you are a financial advisor, I suggest you work with a financial advisor to get this quest completed. As a “rule,” you should increase your salary by 10% every year. Follow this link and use the calculator 2/3 down the page on the right to determine how much you should be making right now based on this rule. Project then, how much you should be making at the age you hope to retire. A financial advisor can help you understand how much you should have saved in order to have money left at the end of your life rather than life left at the end of your money. There should be two numbers – the least amount that you should have saved to cover expenses based on anticipated costs of living, and the ideal number that you should have saved to be able to really enjoy a high quality of life. Obviously, you have to be at least at the bottom of that range, but you should shoot for the top of that range. Furthermore, a financial advisor will help you determine if, based on the rule that you should be increasing your salary by 10% every year, if you can achieve that range or not. If not, some catch-up is required. Based on a Rutgers study on American workers, only 18% feel that they are well-paid. If what you’re making now is nowhere near what that formula says you should be currently making, we may be able to help you reroute and get back on track. We have helped many clients increase their salary by 25 to 100%! Contact us for a free session.

 

Desperately running away from a bad situation often leads to poor decisions, as we have shared before. If you’re in a bad situation, or simply situation that isn’t what you think is best for you, there is no time like the present to make changes, but they should be strategic changes. Considering the amount of emotion around career decisions, it can be a huge challenge to be objective enough to be effectively strategic. Don’t be too proud to reach out for help. Your logic and past experience should tell you that a partner, or even a team, will get more accomplished than an individual. You make the decisions, you are in control, and you don’t have to do it alone.

My review: Therapy vs. coaching

Rays by Bill Gracey

Among my many trusted partners are various other types of coaches (life, divorce, executive, performance, sales, communication, financial, image, etc.) Also among my partners are therapists (psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotherapists) and also some who are both.  My services are procedural and motivational, and I know where my capabilities end. In my 10+ years in the employment industry, I have been presented with many a transition challenge, and I have NOT been able to help my clients overcome them all. I thought in the beginning that I could and I learned the hard way that I cannot provide a panacea.

In my second year in business I had a client who was, unbeknownst to him or me, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) after surviving Katrina. In my usual client intake process I identify what the scope of the challenges are that my client is likely going to encounter in achieving their transition goals, so that I can be their strategist to overcome them. This particular client kept getting on and off board with the plan that he approved from the beginning. I was so eager to see him redeem his career and land some place where he could contribute his amazing leadership capabilities. It was frustrating to see him floundering. I really expected him to land within 4 months, but his transition dragged on and on. From my point-of-view, he was being difficult and stubborn. I started to question whether career coaching was my true path.

One day, he shared with me what he had discovered about his psychological condition. It all made so much more sense, and I felt guilty, as though I should have realized it. He seemed to be a confident, competent, motivated, inspiring person; I assumed he had everything he needed to succeed in a career transition. What I didn’t recognize then, that I am keenly aware of now, is that he needed therapy. After he shared with me how bad I made him feel when he was doubting his future, I recognized that I needed coaching.

If there are psychological anomalies, trauma, anxiety, depression, dependencies, etc. they will surface and become and obstacle when you are faced with difficult feats. We all know life is full of those. Not many get the help they need with this because they may not recognize how these conditions interfere with their lives. They have a cost. It usually isn’t until that cost becomes so big that it cannot be ignored that people get help. Therapy is the first defense against the costs that these conditions can have. You will want someone degreed, licensed, and experienced with your particular condition to help you grasp the reality of it. They will help you get to a place where you can accept your feelings, your reactions, and your thoughts. They will help you accept yourself. This is where I feel therapy stops and coaching has to come in.

Being able to accept yourself, to have validation, is a great gift. After achieving this most people feel invincible, unstoppable, larger than life…and then life proves otherwise. Being able to recognize your intrusive or detrimental thought patterns is one thing, but it is not enough to help you get different results in life. You have to consciously change your subconscious thought patterns in order to see real change in your life. That is where coaching comes in.

When you want to be more effective in your life in achieving your goals, turn to coaching. Coaching provides you with structure around generating the self-discipline necessary to create change. Your coach should use various techniques, be they proprietary or well-established, that have been tested to be successful in creating change. The best approaches are those based on recent advances and scientific discoveries on brain behavior. There are new discoveries every day. I keep track of these discoveries on this site: http://www.praxisnow.com/

Just as therapists are required to be in therapy, I believe that coaches should be required to be in coaching. Since my first experience in coaching as a coach in 2007, which was with Landmark Education, a very accelerated program taking place over a weekend, it was abundantly clear to me that my clients will benefit immensely from my personal growth. I reinvented myself and became aware of my own self-descructive thought patterns. Still, I continue to uncover more and more of these patterns as I peel away the surfaces of defense mechanisms, self-doubts, and inaccurate conclusions that I came to and meanings that I ascribed to events in my life which have continually sabotaged my progress and success.

Coaching has made me more compassionate, more intuitive, more connected and more in tune with people, their feelings and their experience of who I am. I still have blind spots. I still may fall into old patterns, especially with the people I am closest to, as it is harder to escape who I came to know myself as with them. However, in an ongoing setting of coaching, I will continue to become aware of those blind spots and have support and guidance in confronting the impact that those blind spots have had on others. Coaching will help me generate self-discipline in the conscious activities that will alter the subconscious patterns around those blind spots. It is not just about accountability; it is about staying in the program.

When I was experiencing post-partum depression, I needed someone to point it out to me. That person was my mom. She made me promise her that I would talk to someone and I did. It helped immensely, and in 6 weeks I was feeling more like myself. This was therapy and it was most appropriate for the clinical symptoms that I was having.

When I recognize that I am stopped or stuck in achieving my goals, be they personal or professional, I turn to coaching.

The clinical conditions have to be dealt with before coaching can be effective. You should make your coach aware of any formal diagnoses or any suspicions that you have about a psychological condition prior to investing in their services.

If you suspect that you could benefit from either therapy or coaching, please contact me and I would be happy to refer you to a trusted partner (if my services aren’t adequate), many of whom I have personally worked with to achieve my own goals.

 

For a follow-up blog post, I will cover how to budget for and prioritize coaching, as I know many of us have goals in various realms of our lives for which we could benefit from coaching, but most of us can’t afford the time or money to seek out coaching in all of those realms concurrently.

 

UNVEIL YOUR BRILLIANCE!